health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

The Sickness Part 4

March 2, 2018

I’m so very scared
A silent foe lies in wait
Within my soul
I slowly die inside
Wrought with agony and pain
Scared for tomorrow
Will I make it to that day?
Or just fade away……
Absolutely no way!
I continue to fight and vibe on my way
When we face our shadows
They all fall away
And we are like the stars shining so brightly, nothing can ever take that away
Now I feel hope and resilience
In the face of my fate ~Jennifer Steen

10 days was all it took. From ER to truly the sickest I had ever been up until this point. It started with a headache that never went away……to save considerable time I am going to list the symptoms that followed, I wrote this list while in the waiting room at BSA
*Nausea
*excessive underarm sweating and dark spots
*headache-everywhere
*dizziness and light headed which led to numerous black outs and a nasty concussion
*foggy memory and forgetfulness
*neck stiffness, swollen throat
*deep painful all over body ache(like a full blown flu)
*tingling hands and feet
*on and off fever
*extreme fatigue
*trouble falling asleep
*sensitive to meds
*frequent urination
*heart racing feeling with sweating and chills
*rapid weight loss
*depression
*skin changes on my face and legs, large red patches that burn when exposed to sun or lotion

Six weeks. That is how long I lived like this. In a blur, a realistic soul sucking abyss.

“Yet out of darkness was this gift, of vibes and rythmes. Of sight you can not see and words which you can not hear. Touch that you can not feel yet moments that came alive”. ~Jenn

So you can see while reliving the memories, I have gained perspective on the situation. Makes it tolerable to endure when something hopeful and optimistic can come from it.

They ended up telling me what I already suspected, it was an endocrine issue and there was nothing they could do, they tried giving me morphine but I had a horrible reaction to it and thus solidifying that I would no longer take prescription meds to handle my pain. My body was shutting down slowly and it was only a matter of time, I knew if I did not figure out what was wrong that I would not make it at the rate I was going. It was time for a change and to get down to the bottom of what was happening and why.

I was referred to an endocrinologist and that is where I started to get some answers. He originally thought I had Addison’s disease but turns out I have something even more rare. Hyporeninemic Hypoaldosteronism, meaning my kidneys do not make enough of an enzymes called renin which decreases the aldosterone in my adreanal glands. This disease is seen in people with chronic kidney failure and end stage cancer, I have neither. Leave it to me to be difficult huh? I have had numerous scans and tests and so far nothing else has came up. I take a steroid twice a day and it has helped thank goodness! Hoping after my neurologist visit, I can find a functional medicine doctor to run more extensive tests. I have chronic kidney stones and rashes that pop up and then go away. I tested negative for lupus. So far no thyroid disease put I do have a goiter on my right thyroid gland. I have also been experiencing slurred speech, balance and memory issues, and stomach problems. I am still fatigued and sick often but it is getting better with proper rest, food, and a positive mindset!

I will be coming back and updating as I get information and of course I will share how I am feeling from time to time. The support and love for me and my family has been a blessing to us and we will never forget it, thank you all so much!!

Jennifer Steen

family · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Just figure it out already!

Early last year I thought I had everything figured out, finally lol, but reality gave me a huge wake up call. I in fact had only begun to scratch the surface of understanding. Facing my past, how it affects my present, and ultimately my future. In a race to make my dreams a reality, I quickly lost sight of the big picture. I became unfocused, scared, and depressed. My family almost feel apart and I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I failed, plain and simple, and that was what bothered me the most. I failed my children, my friends, my family, and myself.

I often ask myself what was the purpose of this? Why was this happening to me? Was it for clarity, punishment, karma, etc. At this point, I still do not have all the answers but my best answer is I had to learn a lesson, a hard one. One that tested everything I thought I knew about the world, the people in it, and most importantly myself. I can only do so much at a time, I can not save everyone, and my place in this world is in the present. Do I have more to give? Yes! Is the future important? Yes! Do I have to be successful to matter? Depends on ones definition of success, for me, it is getting out of bed each day and facing the challenges presented to me.

My chronic pain, my anxiety, when is the next time I will pass out and give myself a concussion for reasons still unknown and will my kids be there to see it again. When will I find the strength to do what needs to be done to find the purest form of myself, the happy medium I desperately want and need? Well truthfully it has to come from within, this I know, and understand.

The challenge is wading through the years of social conditioning and releasing the bindings to people and situations that only serve to drag me down. It is a battle of wills and personally I am fighting things only I can see and hear, which makes it all the more challenging. I am not going to give up though! I am prepared this time for when I falter, it is lesson I must learn for a higher purpose. I have already won half the battle because I am still here! All the pain and tears are my battle scars and the laughter and smiles are the balm that heals them!

I am the bearer of anxiety
The one that holds the key
To the peace I need
Finding the lock is the journey
I must walk across the fields of loneliness and fear
Searching for salvation
Amongst the barriers that stand in my way
Fighting an invisible force
I can feel but never touch

~Jennifer Steen

✌🏼🖤

family · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Hard days and wondering nights

So it seems I have had a little bit of writers block. Maybe? Or I am just taking things at my pace for once….not sure yet but such is how my mind works. Never knowing between my head and my heart. They both hurt, so they are limping along the way.

Things have been hard. Like really hard. I am still sick more often than not. I am bone tired and bewildered. I truly feel like Alice in Wonderland but with a mountain of responsibilities and so many different paths to travel all at the same time. How in the heck am I going to stay true to who I am and what I need? That is not selfish! The best thing we can do for others is to do for ourselves first. So we can be present and aware. Even through the pain and suffering, setbacks, mishaps…….. perhaps 🤷‍♀️

In the Wonderland of my mind
Like Alice
Seeking absolution
The White Rabbit
Leading me into the abyss
Falling down a black hole
Fighting my way out
The potion
Transforming me
My favorite caterpillar
Wasting the memories away
The Mad Hatter
The craziness within
The Red Queen
The darkness within
The White Queen
The light that shines within
We are all but a memory now
In Wonderland
~Jennifer Steen

I am desperately trying to live in both realities. I dreamed of this while in Florida last January. Being pulled into two different dimensions and everyone vying for me on each side. I have previously kept a dream journal, I do not remember mine much anymore, so it has not been used in some time. Here is that entry-

New years eve- kept astral projecting and could not control it. I would be in a location(cabin full of people) and then go into a trance but my mind would be somewhere else. I would come back and everyone just acted like it was no biggie or annoying. People drinking, deer killing themselves by hitting large doors and fences walling off a compound. Terry was there and kept an eye on me, Josh seemed annoyed, and everyone else just acted weird. When I was in the other realm everyone ignored me and always a conflict going on. Had 3 dreams separately but each one picked up where the other stopped

Hope you enjoyed that journey into my dream lol that is the first time I have ever shared one publicly. Feel special, because YOU ARE!! Anyways, I do not take that a good or bad thing just unusual.

Physically I am suffering, mentally is a 50/50. My brain is sound but the nerves may not be, we will see soon. Emotionally scarred but intellegant enough to know the difference between innocence and intent. I do not need to be coddled, just treat me as me. With care and with caution, especially of you think I am still the old me.

These hard days and nights, give me fright, I can not lie. My days are filled with coping and being as present as possible. Taking pictures, writing, trying to potty train a stubborn three year old 🤣 keeping up with two teenagers and an endless supply of fresh drama 🤦‍♀️

At night I lay awake, meditating my worries away. Saving some for another day, a day where I feel well and able to face the day. It is a coping mechanism you see, it works for me. It seems not so much for others I see. I am very sorry, I mean no harm. I just do not have time for bullshit and empty words are just not for me. I love you all really, just give me some time or simply help and you will see. No expectation leads to no disappointment in only some cases. Expect greatness and watch it come to be. Do not however expect from others. Take what you are given and be grateful, most do not turn away to hurt you. Even so, do no harm. They are on another path, let them go until if and when it is time to meet again. Not everyone is good for each other, we change like the tides 🌊 that brings me to my love of the ocean, I miss you dear friend! I am trying so hard to get closer to you, at this point even the mountains would do, I live them just as much as I love you! ⛰

Hmmmm looks like no more writers block for me…..thank you all for reading my ramblings and inner feelings. Yeah shit is super hard right know but I will always find the silver sea shells in the white sand 🏝💋

☮Juju🕉

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

The sickness part 3

To be weak
Is to be strong
To dry your eyes
Is because you have no more to cry
To walk alone
Is to know your way
To be tired
Is because you have lived
To fall apart
Is because you where once whole
The pain
Is because you feel
The darkness
Is because of the light~ Jennifer Steen

August 2017
So while I had not had anymore major episodes or issues, I began to notice that my stomach would swell after I ate. I was rapidly losing weight and food was making me sick. Three months in, it was discovered that my gallbladder was dying. A few days before Thanksgiving, I had it taken out.
I recovered and tried to get back to normal but that was not to be.
On December 1, 2017, I woke up with a headache, dizzy, and nauseated. By the time I got up and made it into the kitchen, my world suddenly tilted on its axis. The pain exploded in my head and spread through every nerve in my body. I hit my knees as soon as I could and laid in a fetal position on the floor for roughly 30 minutes. All I could do was lay there and pray this was not what was to become of me. Praying for help, for answers, and for my family. This is not a burden I ever wanted for them. My 12 year old daughter was home from school that day and I will never forget the look on her face when she found me on the floor. She sat with me and held my hand until I could properly function again.

Over the next few months, I had smaller episodes like this but none as severe, mostly dizziness and lose of balance. On February 5th, 2018, I collapsed one morning on my bedroom floor. For the first time the numbness was replaced by almost indescribable pain. I was struggling to breath and could not even pick myself off the floor. I was rushed by ambulance to the local hospital, by this time, the pain had lessened but I was still in panic mode trying to calm myself down. The good old doc told me it was ONLY a panic attack and blew me off. I begged him to listen to me but he did not. I cried so much, it was like a part of my spirit died in that moment.
Why would no one help me?
Why was I being ignored?
Did they really think I was making this up?
Over exaggerating?
Well as you will come to find out in part 4, what was going on was very serious and very real. Thank you all for reading and taking this journey with me!

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Wounds

Emotional wounds are not so different from physical wounds. As I try to heal the scars left on the inside, I am reminded of how are wounds heal on the outside. You get hurt, you bleed, and then you try and medicate the wound so it will heal, yet it always leaves scars.

I remember when I was young always begging my mom to use peroxide instead of alcohol because it did not burn. Then to use ointment to soothe and then a band aid to cover it up until it healed. How many of you could not help but pick at the scab, opening the wound again? Where it more than likely started bleeding again and was at risk for an infection.
There will be people who throw alcohol on your wound, so they can see you in pain. There will be those that use peroxide to clean out the wound and use the right ointment to help it heal, soothing the pain because they love you enough to not cause you more pain. But only you are in control of picking the scab and opening yourself up to more discomfort and infection. Just like the scar that remains, so will the memory of what put it there. Yet we have the power to look at those scars and decide whether or not we will wear them with pride or with shame.

I suffer from this myself, re opening wounds that just need to heal, coming to terms with what put them there, and then finding the positive in them instead of the negative. While it does matter what put them there, it is what you see in them, that makes you who you are. Using them to inflict more pain, will only allow you to become infected. Using them for good, tells a story of survival, perseverance, and forgiveness.

☮💙🕉

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

She Smiles

You see her smile and act as if her world is alright
But do you know the pain she tries to hide?
It does not mean it is fake
A smile can mean many things
She smiles because she woke up this morning
She smiles because even though she feels like a failure, her kids eyes still sparkle when they look at her
She smiles because she has a good man by her side, who has given his all to be her rock
She smiles because she has amazing people who have stuck by her side and love her for who she is, baggage and all
She smiles because she soaking up every precious moment
Ever hug and every kiss
Bringing her closer to happiness and further away from despair
When she feel so rotten inside
She has to find the places that make her feel whole inside
The people who make her feel worthy
The places that breath life into her soul
And never let them go!

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

The sickness part 2

January 16, 2017

The feelings that are inside
Swirling
The pain is gone
But the scars still remain
Never far away
Let the peace wash over me
Into tranquility
The feelings that are inside
A renewal for the soul
Anguish is now gone
And hope remains~ Jennifer Steen

March 2017
For the previous three months things were better than they had been in a very long time. I was changing, planning for the future, while letting go of the past. I was writing like crazy and I felt truly free for the first time in years.
One phone call changed everything, I knew I should have stopped and paid more attention to my instincts. Stopped my business plans and just slowed down. Yet nothing could have prepared me for what I would face, it came so fast and I was not prepared. I had become content and did not continue my self care and I payed for it dearly. No ones fault but my own on that one. In a few short weeks, with the world crashing in from all sides. On March 22nd I went to the ER with severe chest pains and a panicky feeling I could not control. I felt sick and shaky, of course the doctor on call thought I was a drug addict and blew me off. A few days later, I woke up in the early hours of the morning, to the same attack that had happened 7 months prior. Only worse! It was so traumatic that I have a hard time remembering details but I will never forget the pain and the fear. Holding onto my daddy’s dog tags and begging for more time. I was hospitalized again, sedated, and test were run. Nothing. Nada. I was told to take my anxiety pills, one week of bed rest, and reduce my stress level Ha! As if!

For privacy purposes I will not talk about the specifics that were going on also at that time, but things were hard. I am not opposed to hardships but man this one tough. It was the most imperfect perfect storm that I never fully recovered from, turns out I was also experiencing what is known as adrenal crisis. I will not deny that my mind broke for awhile. I am still picking up the pieces today.
In May, one week after coming home from a cruise, I woke up in the middle of the night, passed out in the hallway. Anytime I drank alcohol I became violently sick. All these strange aches and pains were occurring more frequently. I would get dizzy often and disoriented. In July, I got up in the middle of the night to get a drink and take some meds because I had a slight headache. As I shut the fridge and turned around, my whole body went numb from head to toe, my vision went black, and the next thing I know I woke up slumped against the fridge. All I could hear were loud chirping sounds in my head, I did not even realize I had passed out. I crawled through the house, climbed in bed and went to sleep. Obviously I had a nasty concussion but still no answers as to why this was happening.

Thankfully the symptoms slowed down by August of 2017 and my stress level was more leveled out. I honestly knew in the back of my mind that something was seriously wrong but I just kept trucking on and doing my best to keep my family together and to recover from the trauma of the last few months. I had responsibilities and I was becoming tired of hearing doctors and peers tell me to get over it, like I was making this all up. Even as I relieve these memories, it still brings tears to my eyes but I am going to keep going. I will be back soon with part 3 of the story! Thank you for reading and ✌🏼❤